According to the Alberta-based consultant, HR professionals should give employees two options – either talk to HR, managers or superiors, or go through a confidential HR hotline.
“Having a strong code of conduct and an independent HR hotline available to team members can help alert the company to and reduce the possibility of inappropriate or illegal activity,” she explains.
“A speak-out or HR hotline provides a confidential way for team members to report issues to management without the fear of retaliation,” she adds.
Failure to fully support whistleblowing can have a detrimental effect on organizations, she warns.
“Research consistently demonstrates that when employees see inappropriate behavior such as harassment it causes low morale, higher stress and team member turnover,” says Carreau.
“It is always better to have a culture where an organization investigates all allegations of misconduct,” she continues. “Without doing this organizations risk team members not coming forward when they see offside behaviour because they don’t think the company will do anything.
“This attitude is even more pervasive in organizations where team members fear reprisal by other team members or the organization itself.”
Are companies putting themselves at risk by failing to offer strong support systems for employees who report unethical behavior? Share your thoughts below.
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